Why You Need an Expert to Test Your Gold-Plated Items

Not long ago a gold investor we know was looking at two eyeglass frames he found at an antique store. One was worth more than $50.00 because it was old and gold-filled; the other was worth only a few dollars because it was new and thinly electroplated with only a tiny amount of gold.

 Shown: a shipment of optical and eyeglasses scrap that a customer sent to Specialty Metals for us to recycle, refine and recover gold from.

Shown: a shipment of optical and eyeglasses scrap that a customer sent to Specialty Metals for us to recycle, refine and recover gold from.

But the funny thing was, they both looked about the same. The investor knew from long experience that one of them was worth recycling, while the other was not. He only knew that because he had “been around the block” many times and had recycled many items over the years. He also knew to look closely for stamped markings on both items; the more valuable eyeglass frames were stamped with the words, “18k Gold Filled.”

But that story leads to a question…

How can you tell how much gold-plated and gold-filled items are worth…  
and whether they are worth recycling?

That’s a difficult question to answer. One reason is that the thickness and purity of the gold plating can vary from item to item and age to age. Modern eyeglass frames, like the one we described at the start of today’s post, are almost always plated with a very thin layer of gold. Older gold-plated and gold-filled items, in contrast, could have much thicker layers of gold than newer gold-plated and gold-filed items.

Sophisticated Testing Is Needed

All those variables explain why the value of gold-plated items can only be determined by qualified experts who have access to sophisticated testing equipment. If you would like an expert analysis of your gold-plated items to find out how much they are worth, call Specialty Metals Smelters and Refiners at 800-426-2344.

Related Posts:

Can You Accurately Test Gold at Home? 
Karat Gold: A Quick Review 
Be on the Lookout for Valuable Gold Alloys 
How to Calculate the Value of Gold Pieces, Scraps and Bits